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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'
August 'Auggie' Pullman is a ten-year-old boy, much like many other boys of his age, except that he was born with facial disfigurements. He has undergone countless operations but he is still aware of how different he looks from everyone else, and he is acutely aware of the diverse reactions he gets from people. The novel is narrated by several different voices, each in...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by L. H. Healy

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We all just need to be a little bit kinder to everybody...
I'd heard really good things about this book and it was chosen as our June book club read. I wouldn't normally read it so early but I couldn't wait.

The story is about August (Auggie) who has a facial disfigurement. He has tried his best to shy away from social interaction with people he doesn't know until his parents decide he should go to school. This is his...
Published 14 months ago by C. Rucroft


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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.', 9 Feb 2012
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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August 'Auggie' Pullman is a ten-year-old boy, much like many other boys of his age, except that he was born with facial disfigurements. He has undergone countless operations but he is still aware of how different he looks from everyone else, and he is acutely aware of the diverse reactions he gets from people. The novel is narrated by several different voices, each in the first person, and the one that features most is Auggie himself. The other characters who we hear from, like his sister Via, offer different perspectives on Auggie, on how they feel about him, on their relationship with him, and how he affects their lives. The chapters are, for the most part, very short, and it's very easy, and tempting given the lovely writing and the great story, to read a lot, if not all of the book in one sitting. We meet Auggie at a key stage in his life - he has been home schooled until now, partly to protect him, and his parents now want to send him out to attend middle school, a huge and incredibly daunting step for him. Is he brave enough to try it, how will he fit in, how will the other children react to him, and the other parents - so many anxieties surrounding this new part of his life.

This is a lovely read, Auggie himself is endearing, funny, believable, and most importantly he is deeply loved, supported and accepted by his parents and his sister. It could be said this novel is an illustration of the maxim that it is ultimately 'what is on the inside that counts', writ large. But maybe Auggie wouldn't be who he is without being as he is. He has had to learn to deal with peoples' reactions to him, on seeing his face, from shock or fear, to acceptance and friendship from some, or unkindness and taunting from others. He is a kind-hearted boy, who is so happy seeing those he loves enjoy success. On seeing his sister Via receive applause he decides; 'I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.

The novel offers, through Auggie, a real insight into how it must feel to be considered 'different', and how a child might deal with this. At first when the narrator was no longer Auggie I wondered how well it would work, having gotten used to seeing things from his perspective and enjoying this, but I needn't have worried, as the other characters' sections all add to Auggie's story rather than detract from it. The story isn't just about how Auggie is different though, it's about all the things he experiences that are the same as anyone else of his age, such as not being sure he wants his mum to kiss him in front of everyone anymore, making new friends, getting used to middle school, and so on.

This novel is aimed at a children's and young adult audience but it wouldn't harm anyone of any age to read it and be reminded not to judge by appearances and to be a little kinder to others, and it will reward those who do read it with a moving, at times dark, but also uplifting read.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved by parent, son (12) and son (9), 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
This is the first time (since picture books) that I have read the same book as both my sons. I bought it after reading a positive review in a newspaper, read it and recommended it to my 9 yr old. He loved it. Yesterday my 12 ( nearly 13 ) yr old finished it, he loved it too.
"A great mixture of funny, sad and interesting" was his review.

It does help if you know a bit about Star Wars - i only know a bit, both boys got every reference!! When I was reading it I did check a couple of things with them.

I haven't read any other so -called "cross over" books, but would warmly recommend this - lots of discussion points but not a heavily moral book so no preachy bits.

My sons particularly liked the fact that you heard from several different view points, I just enjoyed the story
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonder of a book, 22 Jan 2012
By 
Chantal Lyons (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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I can be cynical sometimes, but it is hard to be anything but delighted and heartened by "Wonder". Don't approach it thinking that it's just for children; it is for all ages (and some of the dialogue from adults in the book may even go over younger children's heads).

I found myself engrossed in "Wonder" from the very first page, something that rarely happens to me. The story is just so alive, it's like a sunburst. I giggled and I cried a little. I scowled but more often I smiled. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. In particular I think it would be a great choice for reading in school. There are hugely positive lessons in "Wonder": empathy and kindness. It's the old "it's inside what counts" message, but in a fresh, life-affirming package.

I read it in a day, because I couldn't put it down. You really can't go wrong with it.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 22 Jan 2012
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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Wonder is quite simply an awesome book. I enjoyed every page and devoured it within the space of a few hours. It is one of those books I can see I will continue to recommend for years to come.

Wonder is about a young boy called Auggie who was born with a deformed face due to faults within his genetic makeup. As a small child he endured hours of painful surgical procedures but still he doesn't look 'normal'. Reading the book gave me real insight for ordinary people who are considered 'odd' by society and made my heart break for him as you saw all the discrimantion he went through when he went to school for the first time.

The thing I love about Auggie is that on the whole he is prepared to take his lot and just get on with his life without moaning or feeling sorry for himself. He just wants to be considered normal but his peers don't always let him. The most heart breaking thing for me was seeing how he reacted when other children treated him in a horrible way because he couldn't quite understand what gave them the right to treat him in such a way.

I enjoyed how the story switched perspectives throughout giving you greater insight to the world in which Auggie lived. I especially found his sister's story touching in the way in which she had selflessly given up so much for her brother without complaining or jealously for the different ways in which she and her brother were treated.

The overwhelming message you are left with by the end of this beautiful tale is one of hope and the notion that the world would be a much better place if people were more tolerant and kinder to each other. The way this is done really has a lot of reasonance without being cheesy or preachy which is why I think it is such a stunning novel. Certainly a book I would recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 10 year old daughters review, 8 Jun 2012
By 
Donna Clements (evesham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my 10 year old daughter, and she quickly devoured it. I asked her to write her own uncensored review so here it is:

When I first picked up this book I didn't know what to expect. The blurb didn't give a lot of information about what was inside the book. The cover of the book was irrelevant to what happened in the book but it was a nice touch and it gave you a picture in your head of what August might have looked like. When I started reading it I couldn't put it down and I finished the book in about a week. August has a face that you could never imagine in your life. It is the type of face that you just want to scream and run away but your eyes are fixed to him, never looking away. But he realizes that he has to face his fears of going to school (as he has been home-schooled most of his life until now). A world that has never see a face like his. This book is a moving and serious book but has a loving feeling when you read it and when you do read it, it will make you think (which is a good thing) about people who have disabilities and how they must feel about going out in public and how they feel when we look and stare and what they must feel like inside. It is a truly heart-warming book that has something for everybody. There's adventure, romance and lots more. I think that this book is for children and some adults. Wonder is just an awesome book and I loved every word, page, chapter, I loved it all. I can see that the book will be read for many years and that people will never get bored of it. I think that it is a stunning book and I would certainly recommend it to all.
Written by Charlie brush aged 10 xxx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 2 April 2012
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book. Whilst it's a children'/young adult book, this parent also found it very moving and thought provoking. It's about a boy (Auggie) who was born with terrible facial deformities and who has been homeschooled his entire life. As he writes: "I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go."

At the age of ten Auggie starts in a regular school and the book is about how he and the people around him adapt to that. He narrates part of the book, whilst other parts are narrated by his family and friends. Parts are very amusing and other parts - well, they break your heart.

I got this book for my 11 year old son. He has a disability. Due to a medical accident when he was very little he has no toes on his left foot, his left foot is "stumplike" and the lower left leg is withered. He hates being different and is very self-conscious about kids looking at the ankle/foot orthotic that he has to wear. For this reason he always insists on wearing trousers, no matter what the temperature is. He immediately identified with Auggie, and while he hasn't said much to me since finishing the book, he voluntarily wore shorts to school the other day. This is incredibly unlike him and I don't think it's a coincidence.

It's a magically wonderful book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 27 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Wonder (Kindle Edition)
I usually wait for the paperback edition but was so excited by the reviews decided to download it to my kindle.
I am so glad I didn't wait I could not put it down.
You can't help but love the characters and Auggies wonderful family, I really felt for them all.
When my grandson is old enough this is one book I will certainly read to him
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullies, this one is really not for you, 2 Mar 2012
By 
David Spanswick (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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Anybody who has ever been involved with the education of middle or high school children will know that they really are a different species. Part alien, part zombie, part celebrity and wholly weird. The fact that they are collected together and required to sit in rooms with each other for several hours a day with, usually, a single adult is just downright bizarre. Rules are, invariably, made by the adults in order that control and discipline can be instilled, usually without care, consideration of or consultation especially with the young people in their "care". So schools can easily become feeding grounds for bullying, unkindness and distress unless very closely monitored.

The immediate precedent for "Wonder" was not "The Curious Incident" as has been quoted in so many reviews but Sapphire's "Precious" which also deals with a misfit child who finds redemption through unquantifiable kindness. Comparing "Wonder" with "Curious Incident" entirely misses the point of the book. August is a perfectly normal boy, though even the advanced publicity for the book ~ see the terrible Youtube promotion ~ seems to deny this. The descriptions of Augie's facial oddities are given quite graphically in the section from his sister Via's point of view and, as a reader, you either deal with it or you stop reading and as in the film "Mask" continuation is way beyond curiosity.

The winning factor of this book is not its honesty, which, on occasion made me feel like I was being totally manipulated, but then that is what fiction does, but its truth to language, the observation of the way children use language for both good and hurt and the subtle ways that Palacio depicts the adults through the words they choose rather than their actions (though nobody can deny the desire to slap the bitch of a mother who photoshopped the class photograph).

The book is a tough one and should become required reading for high school age students and anybody involved in education for that matter now that we are finally emerging from the ghastly imprisonment of political correctness.

August Pullman is a little guy who will stay around in your head long after you have finished the book because, in a sense, he is all of us. We all have a little Augie in us and we all learn how to overcome the difficulties we have being us its just that in his case it is writ large on the front of his head.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auggie's World, 21 May 2012
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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I read quite a few children's and Young Adult novels and it's only rarely that one of them truly fits into the "crossover" category where I can truthfully say anyone of any age will enjoy this novel. Wonder fits that niche perfectly, its deceptively simple narrative veiling a myriad of depths and insights.

Wonder is mostly about August (Auggie) Pullman, a 10 year old boy with severe facial disfigurement. Auggie has already been through a multitude of painful operations but his latest experience could well be the most challenging - going to school. He's been home-schooled up until now and sheltered from the curious and insensitive eyes of society at large but hopefully the three mentors chosen by Mr Tushman, the principal, will ease his transition.

What follows, in a series of short chapters, is an account of Auggie's experiences at Beecher Prep, narrated by Auggie himself and, in other sections, by his sister Olivia, his friend Summer, Olivia's boyfriend Justin, her friend Miranda and Jack who was chosen to be a guide/mentor for Auggie. The language is simple but the feelings examined are complex - what does it feel like to be different in a world which has such a limited view of beauty/attractiveness? What is it like for the siblings of someone who doesn't fit the norm? Isn't it really difficult to tread the "middle ground" and neither ignore nor stare? Auggie represents anyone who doesn't fit in and all our associated hang-ups when we strive to be politically correct but fail miserably.

There will be those who avoid this book as it sounds like some preachy manifesto and I fully understand their reticence. Yes, there is a moral message, basically, "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind" and yes, I know it sounds didactic but this isn't Mitch Albom territory and there is no deliberate pulling on the heartstrings or straying into schmaltz. Having said that, we could all learn something by having this little peek into Auggie's life, and perhaps adult readers have the most to learn from it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special book, 21 Mar 2012
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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I have read hundreds of books but Wonder is the first one that has made me cry. Being a grown man I suppose I should be embarrassed, particularly as the book in question is classified as being for children. Actually though, I'm not embarrassed in the slightest as Wonder is an absolutely wonderful book, and only those who possess a heart of stone could fail to touched by it.

The story of August Pullman could have been a sad, downbeat tale; born with a terribly disfigured face little Auggie seems to have all life's cards stacked against him and when at the age of ten he has to go to school for the first time he is understandably concerned about the reaction of his fellow students. At first it seems that he was right to be worried, but the way that he rises above that through sheer strength of character slowly changes their attitudes towards him.

Some will no doubt criticise this book for being overly sweet, almost fairy tale-like. Whilst I can see their point surely they are also missing the point. Okay, most of the people in this book turn out to be good people and those that aren't get their comeuppance and no, this doesn't happen that often in real life, but wouldn't be great if it would? Reading this book allows you, for a short while at least, to get a glimpse of humanity at its best.

Wonder is a very special book.
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